Coal import for October came in flat at 16.65 million tonnes, underpinned by cautious buying of the fossil fuel by consumers due to high prices in the overseas market. The figure for October 2016 was 16.68 million tonnes (mt), according to the latest data from mjunction services, a leading name in the e-auction space. “Coal import (all types of coals) in October 2017 stood at 16.65 mt (provisional) against 16.68 mt in October 2016 and 15.68 mt (revised) in September 2017,” said the online procurement and sales entity jointly floated by state-owned SAIL and Tata Steel. On the import trend of the fossil fuel, mjunction CEO Vinaya Varma told PTI, “While there was a revival in demand for imported material, especially from the thermal power plants facing low coal stock situation, the prevailing high price in the sea-borne coal market was seen as a dampener. As a result, there was cautious buying ahead of the winter months.” However, going forward, the volumes may go up if there is correction in the prices of coal, Varma added.
“There was a marginal growth in non-coking coal import during October on a yearly (and also monthly) basis. This, however, was accompanied by a slight drop in PCI and pet coke, which resulted in an overall flat growth in coal and coke imports during the month under review,” the company said. Of the 16.6 mt total coal imported last month, the maximum was of non-coking variety at 11.2 mt. Import of coal declines 6.37 per cent to 191.95 mt in 2016-17, chiefly because of higher production by Coal India Ltd (CIL). CIL accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production.